" If you believe in nothing else, Believe in yourself "

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Caitlin getting her make up done.

Elgin Golf Course.

Filming in Shauns car

Filming "Coh2! " with Struan and Sol

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Thought Id post some of my favourite films for your enjoyment still have many more great films to see but here's the best of what I have seen.

Saving Private Ryan, love this film seen it so many times great story line, great action favourite film of all time its just my kind of film. Everything was so realistic, good job from Steven Spielberg and all the actors.

Fight club, absolutely epic watched it for the first time and my mind was blown, definitely did not see the ending coming. I could watch this film again and again. good performances from Edward Norton and Brad Pitt kept me hooked every step of the way.

The Green Mile. Who couldn't have been drawn in by this epic storyline ? Amazing film had so much to offer and it was difficult not to feel sad at the end.

Snatch+ lockstock and two smoking barrels the two are on a par with each other and their easily put together by their similar styles. I base some of my ideas round this style of film which had everything. I loved the violence humour and all the twists in the tale. Loved how it was shot and some of the transitions as well.

Gladiator, another that I've watched over and over. Russell Crowe is one of my favourite actors and the story of the gladiator who shook an empire was so well told and had so many great and believable action scenes.

Hook. Child hood favourite. Was obsessed with this film as a child I loved the flying the fighting and how a guy has to go back to Neverland and believe in childhood things to find that he is Peter Pan. Loved every bit of it.

Home Alone 1 and 2. Made my imagination run wild as a child. Such a fun film, loved it so much that I wanted to be that boy, and on several occasions I did actually tell people my name was Kevin Mcalister. Even had the Talkboy tape recorder. Just a brilliantly fun film.

Goodfellas, An exciting story very well told even better that its based on true events. Real gangster film with some great scenes and great acting. A really good watch.

The kingdom, essentially sums up the middle east, the same attitude towards each other,all shown through a very good storyline.

Crash, How some very different people come together from all different walks of life showing the racial prejudices and unfairness in society. Had some heart wrenching moments with some clever coincidences.

That's just the top 10, there's so many great films I've watched so many times that ill have to add another time, feel free to comment and suggest some more.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Things to remember when making your film.

I've decided to compile a list of things I think it is important to remember when your making your film. Some these things seem pretty obvious but are sometimes forgotten about and most work either way. So here goes.

First of all, realise your constraints, its not Hollywood so keep your feet on the ground. That means no crazy stunts, rediculous locations or closing down streets. Try to make sure your film simple enough to shoot as well the less green screen and special effects the better. Also another point to remember is that we live in a country where the weather can be less than favourable at times. Consider if this will make a difference to the look of your film and be prepared when your on location for a turn in the weather.

Keep all of your cast and crew informed every week, don't just spring things on them a week previous and expect people to drop everything to start filming for you.

Keep your crew to a minimum, people can usually do more than one job and you don't want to have people standing around with nothing to do. The more people on your crew then the more transport and sleeping arrangements etc need to be made. At the same time you don't want to leave yourself short, you should never really go it alone either.

Your crew are most likely working for free, this does not make them slaves. People aren't usually fond of getting up at silly times for your film either so try to be reasonable with them. try not to make your shooting times too long, include regular breaks in filming and appreciate the efforts people are going to as well. Its worth mentioning that since your not paying your actors its nice to feed them, make sandwiches or order pizza. Keep the food light however. People often get tired and less motivated after a large meal.

Whilst your crew or actors aren't being paid, that doesn't mean they can make the rules to suit themselves your still the boss and they have made a commitment to your film and they should pull their weight. Still be reasonable and make sure you have someone to fill in so your not left short.

You need to know what you actually want from your film, envision it in your head so you actually know what to shoot, dont leave things down to the day of filming to sort out how you want things to look.

Get cutaways. (Those little close up shots that have no action in them but are somehow related to the subject your filming.) Yes those, they are essential for the edit, they break down the action and make it easier for you audience to watch. They are also handy for building the story and surroundings in your film to give it a more realistic feel, and most importantly they will help when your stuck in the edit if you haven't got enough coverage which is also a common mistake. Anyone who has made a film will agree.

Less is more. The audience don't need to see every bit of action, try leaving some difficult scenes to their imagination, but don't miss it out totally, sounds tell as much of a story as pictures do. (see some of Guy Ritchies films for examples of this this.)

Check back your footage for what you've done that day, known as watching your rushes, there is nothing worse than realising there's something wrong once you've come off location and you'll have to go back and shoot again.
Thats all for now.

Hey Guys,

Finally finished shooting last Sunday and I've watched the footage. Im delighted with what Ive managed especially over a weekend. On monday the film will be captured into the edit suite and then the fun really begins.

Changed my mind on directing as well. I really enjoyed Sunday on my own and I really felt I got the best from my actors as well as the best from myself. Now I know why people through the stress of doing the whole process over and over, because you'll never beat the feeling of satisfaction you get when its complete.

Id also like to say thanks to a few people, without sounding like a speech at the Oscars, here goes
Suliaman, my assistant it was good having you on location you helped out lots and took some pressure off me with your dedication and knowledge of the film.

Shaun, My mentor. Taught me everything I know I've a lot to thank you for because I know that without you then I wouldn't have chosen this career path. You gave 100% and more to help out and some of your tips gave the film something extra, not scared of a stunt either. Great friend, Great actor.

Caitlin, going places, a natural actress definitely worth having on your film. The final scene was great with you in it.

Mum and dad, kept everyone fed and were patient with us turning the house upside down. Everyone will back me up that the food was great and that's always appreciated in the industry.

Heres a few photos of us on location.
Lots of projects coming up. Lots to write about busy stuff.

Friday, 30 April 2010

The long awaited "Collision" ( its long awaited for me anyway) is finally in movement. As I write this now its late on Saturday night and the end of filming for day two. All I have left to do on Sunday is two scenes.

Its gone well so far Id have to say and I've enjoyed myself. We've shot quickly and got more than enough footage for the edit. It helps when you've got motivated, enthusiastic crew and cast who know your script and what you want, inside out.
Watching back the footage, or rushes as we call them. I'm pretty proud to be in charge of this. It all looks pretty good, to me at least .

On the whole directing thing I'm not so sure about though. I like working as part of the team and I can never switch off the creative side when I'm on location, constantly looking for shots and angles and coming up with ideas. Those habits will die hard I suppose when I'm used to looking through the view finder as a camera operator more than over looking the bigger picture as a director. I definatly feel that my talent would be as a DOP (director of photography) and I would set up the look of the film, camera style and particular shots and also give feed back to the director.

Of course nothing in this industry is ever easy and its only my first attempt. I could well find that my skills as a director develop with further films. Or I may very well stick to what I'm good at- Camera work. After all I have been asked to do more of my classmates camera work than anyone else so I must be doing something right.

Looking forward to the comfy chairs of the edit suite now instead of braving the cold on location.
Next time - Some pictures of us on location, and the tips and tricks for making your film that you wont learn in film school.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Hey everyone, Heres a quick look into my next project.

Mixed martial arts cage fighting is the fastest growing spectator sport in the world, since the early nineties it has developed greatly from its original ruthless bare knuckle no holds bar style. Today through the platform of the UFC (Ultimate fighting championship) Fighters from all forms of martial arts backgrounds come together to compete in an organised and respected athletic competition. Fighters will fight over five weight divisions to be the champion of their particular division. A standard fight would consist of three five minutes rounds. It is acceptable to win by a straight forward knock-out, a technical knock-out - whereby the referee would stop the fight if he feels that one fighter is no longer able to defend themselves properly against the other, or the fighter is in danger. By submission, usually where a fighter is placed in a hold which excerts either extreme pain to an area of the body or in a technique which would prevent him breathing In the case when a fight is not won inside the time limit by any of the above means the judges will decide on the winner based on who controlled the fight more. Basically to endure all this in order to win, competitors are not blood thirsty thugs, They are athletes. True martial artists.

So your probably wondering where I'm going with this by now?, Well since mixed martial arts cage fighting is the fastest growing sport in the world then its no surprise that the opportunity to take part in amateur fights of the same structure to UFC are springing up all over the UK.
The subject of my next project a - 20 minute documentary follows my friend Aidan's journey in the lead up to his first mixed martial arts cage fight. Whats so interesting about that then? Well it's common for fighters to drop several kilos in weight, give up drinking and train everyday in preparation for a fight. Junk food and alcohol will have to be given up also which to be honest is going to be a challenge in itself for Aidan a self confessed lover of the drink, as you can see below.

So I intend to follow him through tough training in several different martial arts and find out what it really takes to compete in a caged fight, ability will have to be matched with commitment determination and dedication. and finally if he does win. Will it all have been worth it ?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Hey Hows it going,

I should be writing to say that I'm Home in Elgin with a big pile of equipment and my crew ready to go out tomorrow and start filming my anticipated first film "Collision", Instead I'm telling you that equipment is fully booked for a month, So Ive had to postpone filming, When I found out that I wouldn't be able to book equipment I wondered for a second if I was actually ever going to get this project done. Any possible thing that could have went wrong, has done. Then I Remembered the quote at the top of the page. So my only real option is to share equipment which has already been booked and I've managed to arrange that for the end of April into the beginning of May.

Some good news is that I've completed my duties of Cameraman for the third time in Sulaiman's crew, and I've found myself in demand for classmates films for the future as well. So I'm learning more and more on camera and Im fairly comfortable in that position.

The only real challenge left now is directing, which I'm not sure how I will perform at. I know what I want, but I'm unsure as to how I will get that across to my crew and eventually my audience. Organisation is also a problem for me. I find it difficult to organise people and places and I would much rather leave that job to someone else. In reality though a director mainly directs action. If it came to anything else he'd say what he wants where he wants it would be someone else's job to make that happen.
This Isn't the case for me, I do not have that Luxury and have to organise and source things for myself which can be a huge task if like me you often struggle with organisation. At the end of the day though I have to keep in mind the satisfaction I will get if the whole thing is a success. Then I will most likely jump back into a whole world of stress over again.

And after Collision a 6 minute film, Which has caused huge stress, The next challenge is a 25 minute documentary. I'm excited already...

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Hey everyone,
In my last post I said " as soon as you start to organise people places dates and times.... its exactly when things start to go wrong " Oh how I was to be proven right. Let me paint you a picture.

Tuesday morning 8 am, wake up and open the blinds- and I am greeted by a covering of snow, Its march 31 st and its snowing outside ! I wondered, Do they have this problem in Hollywood ?, I'd think not, only in Scotland would the weather appear to be improving for spring and then suddenly snow over night.

9 am. Arrive in the multimedia centre to pick up my equipment, but I don't get everything id ask for theirs things missing due to people not bringing back equipment on time so I have to leave with essentially a camera and a tripod. I Sludged back to my flat with the equipment weighing a hefty amount, but it wasn't the weight that slowed me down. Two large oddly shaped bags are just difficult to maneuver over half a mile. Needless to say I was soaked.

3.25 pm My train is late, I'm already 7 quid down after a taxi, they haven't announced this trains trains lateness, so there is mass confusion between about 150 people. Thirty minutes late the train arrives... at a different platform, Que stampede, and me desperately trying to carry all this equipment through a riot of people. Luckily I get a seat and the train departs. Finally I can get home to do some filming.

4.30 Train has stopped just past Insch. Theirs a problem with "the points" they said so we waited and waited and I thought to myself its snowing pretty heavy outside at least 8 inches deep, If we don't get a move on soon then the train will be stuck in the snow as well. Why don't they just pull the train back to Insch and organize some buses ? No! That solution would appear to much like sense. The train waited an hour, two hours, THREE HOURS ! The worst part being the area had no signal, I couldn't even call and tell anyone my situation. Id like to mention I was also starving. They wouldn't even come past with the trolley and offer people something to eat or drink !

7.45 The train has been advised to head back to Aberdeen. At a crawling pace, I could have walked faster.

8.50. We arrive back in Aberdeen, Square one 5 hours after I departed. I thought to myself Its a good job nobody else was relying on me. That this shoot wasn't 100% necessary. After all This was supposed to be the day filming officially started. I really be should bringing three others with me, I ended up changing the dates.

The trains are cancelled for the next few days so I'm stuck in Aberdeen during the holidays, Great!

Here's some more photography.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Hey everyone,

This past week has been pretty tough for me. I'm sure any person making a film will tell you that as soon as you start to organise people, places, dates, times and finally book that equipment out its exactly when things start to go wrong. People become unavailable , locations close and you soon find yourself rearranging those dates and times, you start to stress and wonder how your ever going to manage to actually get things done. - My friend Sulaiman will agree.

So when I thought I had it bad, something put it all into perspective. The sudden loss of my uncle Steven on Saturday night, things like my film now seem irrelevant compared to this. As I sit almost lost for words the one thing I can say is learn to appreciate what you have whilst you have it.

With that said, today I went a drive and a walk across the beach with my sister.

Here's some photos.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Hey guys,

So as I've told you in my personal profile(if you bothered to read it) I'm into my photography so I thought Id upload some of the black and white prints I did early last year.

They are all taken on a SLR camera, and developed in a dark room. They lose something when scanned so they don't appear as deep or glossy as the original prints.

Ill upload some more in future posts, I hope you enjoy them.


Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Hey Guys,
Seeing as this is my first Blog I thought I'd talk about my short film that I am making which is my first Called "Collision" . Directed by myself it will feature my old teacher, good friend and Great actor Shaun as my main Character and other good friend- and very talented actress, Caitlin. The Idea started over 2 two years ago sitting in high school in my much enjoyed film makers class. Since then the story has developed with great ideas and twists to the tale but now I have a great story together a completed script and I'm due to start filming in a few weeks time.
The plot consists around Shaun The drunk Driver who crashes his car into Caitlin accidentally when She's out on a jog. Instead of calling an ambulance and face charges for drink driving etc. Shaun decides he could get away with his crime, There is no one around and if he hides the body nobody could ever suspect him. So he does and it appears as if he has gotten away with his selfish crime. Not exactly, as Caitlin haunts his dreams and thoughts continuously until one day his thoughts step into the real world and Caitlin gets her own back.

I will be joined on location in Elgin by College pals Sulaiman, Struan, and Laurence. Hopefully all goes well and "Collision" gets featured in the Belmont later this year !